When I meet new people, I often get asked what my blog is about. I say a handful of things but one topic I’m always most excited about and proud of is Charleston. My love for Charleston grows every single day! As we’ve lived here for longer and longer and more years, I only fall more in love with the city and try to never take it for granted. Charleston’s magic and beauty is undeniable + it is always evolving, which makes it a really interesting place to live (and visit!).
Last January, I wrote a post on the best new places to open in Charleston. It was basically a recap of 2018 as I published the post in January of 2019. Well, I’m back with a recap of Charleston this last year with this post on the best new Charleston places of 2019! Keep reading for my favorite newly opened restaurants, shops, bars, and more in Charleston! P.S. for more on Charleston, visit these posts: Charleston Travel Guide // A Beginner’s Guide to Charleston // A Guide to Charleston Beaches // A Guide to Charleston’s Best Wine Bars & Wine Shops.
Best New Charleston Places of 2019
Charleston, SC is a magical seaside city in the South known for so many things including architecture, history, and food. The city has been voted the best city in America year after year for 9 years in a row now for very good reason! In Charleston, we have a handful of famous chefs like Mika Lata of Fig + The Ordinary and Rodney Scott of Rodney Scott BBQ, designers and brands like Amanda Lindroth and Lake Pajamas who have established their flagship stores in Charleston, as well as dozens of creatives, artists, and tastemakers shaping a beautiful and unique modern Charleston.
In terms of food, Charleston is certainly known for seafood, soul food, and Southern food as well as dishes like shrimp and grits, fried chicken, oysters, and bbq but we’re really a city that has everything! I’m so proud to call Charleston home every single day! Here are the best new places to open in Charleston in the last year.
Best Charleston Restaurants of 2019
The minute Harken Café opened, it became an instant classic! Harken was opened in the fall of 2019 by the owners of another CHS cult favorite, The Harbinger (I say cult favorite because The Harbinger really has a cult following!). Harken is a neighborhood coffee shop filled with character, delicious food + drink, and a warm atmosphere (I always see a familiar face). I’d recommend Harken to anyone visiting Charleston! Menu must-haves: avocado toast, daily slab pie, daily baguette sandwich, and the ever-changing mind-blowing baked goods. Harken Café is featured in the photos in this post! Located on Queen Street.
Malagón is a delicious ode to Spain! Everything is Spanish from the menu to the wine list to the retail. Take my advice and order the ‘La Bomba’ it is out of this world! At dinnertime, Malagón is buzzing with dinners making for a very lively atmosphere. I love the dinnertime vibe but also really enjoy Malagón during the day for lunch Tuesday – Friday for a more quiet setting. Also, don’t miss weekend brunch on Saturdays and Sundays! I would classify Malagón as a foodie Spanish experience! Located on Spring Street.
Maison is a cute little foodie French bistro. I say foodie because the menu has a lot of French favorites on it but many are prepared with a special touch or in a unique and creative way. Every meal I’ve had here has been really delicious and satisfying! When I crave French food, this is one of my go-tos. Located on King Street.
Delaney Oyster House
Delaney Oyster House is a must for seafood lovers. It prides itself on its premium seafood and oysters, which I think is what coastal South Carolina southern cuisine is all about. It is located within a quintessential historic Charleston home so guests can dine inside for a dining room setting or outside on the side porches during a beautiful day. If you come to Charleston with the intension of hitting every oyster shop, then add this restaurant to your list. Located on Calhoun Street.
Estadio opened in the fall of 2019, giving downtown Charleston her second Spanish restaurant opening of the year (the first was Malagón, see above). However, I’d classify Estadio and Malagón differently. Estadio is a modern take on traditional Spanish food but you can expect to find all the classic Spanish dishes you know and love. We seriously love the croquettes here! Located on Spring Street.
Wild Common is located in the restaurant portion of what was previously Cannon Green (Cannon Green is still open but exclusively as an event space now). It opened in the summer of 2019 with a very unique menu. Wild Common is really a culinary experience of fine dining with custom tasting, a la carte, and small bites menus. The atmosphere is quirky and full of character too. It’s a great place to go for a special occasion or for a foodie adventure. Located on Spring Street.
Off Track Ice Cream
As soon as Off Track Ice Cream opened in Charleston, it immediately became my favorite ice cream shop in town. They make all of their ice cream from scratch using a few simple ingredients (local ingredients when possible!). Their vegan ice cream is honestly just as delicious as their regular ice cream too. The flavors are out of this world and so creative with seasonal flavors always coming out! The key lime pie flavor will blow your mind. Off Track Ice Cream is featured in the photos in this post! Located on Beaufain Street.
La Pâtisserie is a happy, charming little coffee shop. You’ll find a full coffee bar, sweet and savory pastries, artisanal sandwiches, handcrafted pastries, and sweet treats like macarons. Located on King Street inside the Hotel Bennett.
Sightsee Shop + Coffee
Sightsee is a light and airy little neighborhood coffee shop in the Elliotborough neighborhood downtown. You’ll find a selection of specialty coffee, espresso, and tea. In addition to coffee, there is a cute retail shop at Sightsee. Located on Line Street.
Best Charleston Bars of 2019
Coquin Café and Bar
Coquin is a charming little coffee shop meets café meets bar that opened in Charleston in the fall of 2019! When you step into Coquin, you embrace the art of the Parisian Lifestyle. Coquin serves up bites all day long including pastries in the morning, sandwiches in the afternoon, and charcuterie + more when the sun goes down. Similarly, you can grab a specialty coffee during the day and switch to a yummy wine or martini at night. It’s a wonderful all day experience! Located on Spring Street.
If you’re in the mood for bubbles, then Camellias is the place to go! The whole bar is pink, like the flower it’s named for, but that’s not the only way it sets itself apart… it is Charleston’s premier Champagne Bar (there is a full bar menu too!). It is located on King Street inside the Hotel Bennett.
There is nothing chic about Bangkok Lounge but it is a whole ton of fun! Bangkok Lounge is a dive-y karaoke bar on King Street that is a really fun spot to go when you are in a party mood. On the weekends, there can be quite a line so be prepared to get there early if you want to get in and sing. It’s important to note though that you can sing karaoke at Bangkok Lounge 7 nights a week! Located on King Street.
Best Charleston Shops of 2019
Amanda Lindroth opened in Charleston in the spring of 2019 on Upper King to lots of fanfare. The store itself is absolutely stunning! It is designed in a custom tent (within the storefront) so you immediately feel as though you’ve been transported to your favorite Caribbean island. Everything Amanda Lindroth designs is fabulous. Think rattan everything and beautiful entertaining essentials like block print linens! The Amanda Lindroth store is featured in the photos in this post! Located on King Street.
Beau & Ro
Beau & Ro opened its first-ever brick and mortar store in the fall of 2019 in none other than Charleston! They make beautiful handbags and jewelry that I simply can’t get enough of. I wear my Beau & Ro rattan earrings non-stop and love my straw bags from the playful yet well-defined brand! The store also carries a curated selection of other designers and brands like Assoline, Lele Sadoughi, and more! The Beau & Ro store is featured in the photos in this post! Located in Mount Pleasant Towne Centre.
Hampden is my absolute favorite boutique in Charleston and one of my favorite boutiques I’ve ever stepped foot in anywhere. This place has been a shopping staple in Charleston for years but the store debuted a massive expansion in the fall of 2019. The added storefront (located right next store – at some point the two spaces will be joined together by taking down a wall) is incredibly streamlined and well-design! Hampden carries lines including Loeffler Randall, Tibi, Zimmerman, and more. The Hampden team who works in-store is incredible as well! Located on King Street.
Roller Rabbit opened it’s doors in Charleston in the fall of 2019 to many happy Charlestonians! The brand actually used to have a store in Charleston a few years ago but the location was closed when the brand went through some restructuring. So, we were all thrilled to see it open it’s doors again, this time on lower King Street. You’ll find tons of swoon-worthy pieces from baby clothes to beach cover-ups to bedding. Located on King Street.
Lake Pajamas Kids
Lake Pajamas caused quite a splash when they opened the doors of their first ever store in Charleston in December 2018. The store is filled with all the beautiful, comfortable, soft pajama styles that Lake has come to be known for. It was designed by Charleston’s own, Olivia Brock, making it even more magical. Olivia & the Lake team opened the Lake Pajamas Kids location in the spring of 2019 on the second floor of the Lake Pajamas store. It is a must-visit for all mamas visiting the Charleston area as it is filled with adorable pjs as well as a lovely selection of children’s accessories, books, and toys. Located on King Street.
Old Whaling Co.
Old Whaling Co. opened the doors of its Broad Street store in 2019. The light-filled space is full of the brand’s bath and body products all inspired by the sea! Ole Whaling Co. has a dozen or so signature scents that they infuse into their beautifully crafted, effective, and affordable soaps, bath bombs, body butters, perfumes, salt scrubs, and candles. Everything is delicious + the items make wonderful gifts! Located on Broad Street.
Best Charleston Activities of 2019
The Water Room
The Water Room is as beautiful as it is zen as it is clean. It is Charleston’s best clean nail salon! The Water Room uses only nontoxic, clean beauty products, and offers chemical-free treatments. I’m in love with the space and I really can’t get enough of the selection of 8 free, cruelty free, vegan, nontoxic polishes (they are all beautiful colors)! There is also a room that can be closed off for private parties. The Water Room opened its doors in January 2019 and has become a beloved part of our beauty + wellness scene. Every time I go, I leave happier than when I walked in! Located in The Cigar Factory on East Bay Street.
Walk & Talk Tours
Walk & Talk Tours technically launched in 2018 but I didn’t become aware of the incredible tour company until 2019 so I’m including it in this post! Plus, Walk & Talk launched a new facet of business in 2019… “Full Hot Tours,” which is a bar hop/bachelorette style tour. Tyler, who runs the tours, has an incredible wealth of knowledge about Charleston, a fantastic sense of humor, and a love and admiration for the Holy City that really shines through on her tours. I particularly love Tyler’s walking tours of Charleston so much because, instead of spitting out fact after fact, she does a wonderful job of storytelling. On a Walk and Talk tour, you’ll explore some of Charleston’s most beautiful streets while learning about the city’s rich history and historical gossip. Located on the Southeast corner of Broad and Church Streets at the painted Hat Man.
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I hope you found this post helpful! Be sure to save it if you’re planning a trip to Charleston this year! Also, feel free to email me anytime with Charleston questions!
Photography by Edwin Eversole